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Engaging with rural Albertans

Engaging with rural Albertans

Rural Albertans will have opportunities to provide input on policing and economic development

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Members of Alberta’s public sector are reaching out to rural citizens for input on multiple topics.

Nate Horner, the associate minister of rural economic development, will be hosting virtual tours until December with rural business owners across multiple sectors.

The meetings will take place on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. People unable to attend the discussions will have an opportunity to fill out an online survey.

The goal is to identify how these community leaders can benefit from Alberta’s Recovery Plan.

“Supporting local businesses and attracting new investment to Alberta is key to the success of our economic recovery after the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global collapse of energy prices and the worst economic downturn in almost 100 years,” Horner said in an Oct. 21 statement. “All Albertans, urban and rural, should benefit from Alberta’s Recovery Plan.”

Rural Alberta is an important contributor to the province’s overall success.

In 2015, Alberta’s GDP was about $307 billion.

A 2018 Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties study commissioned to Nichols Applied Management showed that in 2015, rural Alberta contributed about $89.6 billion to the provincial total.

Rural Albertans will also have the chance to interact with law enforcement personnel.

Airdrie RCMP and Rocky View County Enforcement Services will be hosting a virtual community town hall meeting on Nov. 4 from 7:00pm to 9:00 pm.

Members of the RCMP will make presentations and engage in a question-and-answer period with community members.

In 2017, rural Alberta’s police-reported crime rate was 10,964 per 100,000 people. This rate was 38 per cent higher compared to urban Alberta, Stats Canada data shows.

How the police handle rural crime incidents is an important piece of information, said Insp. Lauren Weare, the detachment commander for the Airdrie RCMP.

“I think there's a number of things people are interested in knowing,” she told Airdrie Today. “I think one of the things they would like to know is what exactly does the RCMP's response to rural crime look like? And what are citizens' roles in that?”

Anyone interested in attending the virtual town hall meeting must register by 4pm on Nov. 4.

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